HomeStart Finance calls for affordable home finance

HomeStart Finance calls for affordable home finance
HomeStart Finance calls for affordable home finance

HomeStart Finance, the home ownership assistance program established by the SA government in 1989, urges the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into Home Ownership in Australia to consider the impact of access to affordable, sustainable home finance as an essential component of ensuring home ownership remains within the reach of Australians on low to moderate incomes.

"The demand for home ownership has remained constant for many years, particularly amongst would-be first home buyers. Our research has found that the majority of this segment think home ownership is ‘very important’ (60%), primarily for financial security, however an even greater majority think it is harder to buy a home now than 12 months ago (69%)." Numbers are according to HomeStart’s ‘Home Truths’ research of 499 South Australian first homebuyers in 2015.

"The primary reasons hindering these aspiring home owners are both financial (deposit, start-up costs), and inability to borrow enough to buy a home in their price range – which can be attributed to both supply of housing priced in the low-moderate range, and securing enough funds to make a purchase. 

"Would-be homebuyers facing such issues represent a growing proportion of the potential buying market. While supply issues certainly prevent some from purchase, another sizable portion could become sustainable, wealth-building homeowners if they could find suitable home finance."

When comparing home ownership in Greater Adelaide to Playford between 1991 and 2011, data from ABS Census shows that in 1991 home ownership in Playford was at 53.8% compared to 68.4% for Greater Adelaide households. "By 2011 the gap had narrowed with Playford reporting home ownership of 58.7% (+4.9 pp) and Greater Adelaide 66.1% (-2.3pp)."

"HomeStart’s experience and results demonstrate there is a role of government to play in providing a stepping stone for customers to move from private rental or other accommodation into assisted home ownership. 

"The success of KeyStart in Western Australia provides further evidence of a need for such assistance. Both programs are constrained to operating within their respective states, and not unreasonably so given the states provide capital and ongoing funding. The consequence of this limitation is that the vast majority of Australia’s population is unable to access a valuable pathway to home ownership. 

"We believe offering this bridge from rental to buying in the private market represents a sound policy instrument by which government can help bring the Australian dream of home ownership to fruition, along with the myriad of associated benefits such as increased wellbeing, stability, community connection and financial security."

Tags: 
First Home Buyers Home Ownership

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